| Azlan Othman |
CONGREGATIONAL prayers should be performed at schools under the Ministry of Education where suraus or any suitable space can be used for the purpose, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam urged yesterday. “In Arabic and religious schools, congregational prayer is held, either at the surau or the nearby mosque. This is very good to be continued, not only for students but also for parents and guardians who would like to join the prayer,” His Majesty said in a titah at an event to commemorate the National Level Israk Mikraj Celebration for 1439 Hijrah/2018 at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas yesterday.
“Apart from Arabic and religious schools, it is beneficial to extend congregational prayer to schools under the Ministry of Education. For this they can use the surau or any suitable space,” the monarch said.
“Lessons on congregational prayers have been taught in religious schools in the country. This is considered necessary, not just to make the students understand what a prayer in congregation is but also to make them passionate and Istiqamah to do it,” His Majesty said.
“We must be grateful for the blessings that are enjoyed by the nation. Among the blessings are peace and unity that allow the nation to commemorate the events of Israk Mikraj in a comfortable manner.
“Among the events that took place during Israk and Mikraj is the stopover of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in Al-Aqsa Mosque in Palestine where the prophet became the Imam in the congregational prayer along with other prophets.”
“This event, without doubt, refers to how much important congregation is to Muslims. In Brunei Darussalam, for the convenience of Muslims to perform prayers, many mosques have been built. We have also set up the Mosque Construction Fund to give opportunity to the public to jointly contribute towards the development and maintenance of mosques and reinforce the relationship between congregants and mosques. Construction and maintenance of mosques are very important, so that they will always be magnificent, safe and comfortable for the worshippers,” the monarch said.
“A mosque is to be prospered or enlivened by the congregation. Therefore, we are required to make every mosque more congregation-friendly.
“Among the friendly features for congregation are making the mosque and its environment always clean and attractive and filling them with activities like religious talks, Al-Quran reading in Halaqah manner and so on. These are enough to enliven the mosque.
“This is a responsibility the Mosque Affairs Department should perform with the help of the Mosque Takmir Committee. Execute duties and responsibilities the best way we could, and we will be granted a good result by Allah the Almighty.
“Upgrade anything that is related to mosques such as its officers and offerings, in particular the delivery of sermon by the ‘Khatib’ on Friday. The sermon and its presentation are ‘the pulse’ of religion. If the sermon and its delivery are weak, then the pulse will also be weak,” His Majesty said.
“In conjunction with the celebration of Israk Mikraj, it is desirable for us to enhance our determination to be diligent about mosques and suraus to win rewards for performing prayers in congregation.
“If we cannot afford to do it all the time at the mosque, at least we need to be committed to pray in congregation with the family at home. With the enhancement of worshipping in congregation, Insya Allah our schools, families, children and our country Brunei Darussalam will be blessed,” the monarch concluded.